Many important human viruses lack appropriate animal models, restricting studies of viral pathogenesis and immunity. For such human viruses, like Human immunodeficiency virus or human norovirus, their animal homologs proved extremely useful for defining virus-host interactions, immunity and pathogenesis. Our group is characterizing several newly identified rodent viruses to develop informative surrogate models for their human homologs.
Despite the availability of effective antivirals, chronic HCV infection remains a leading cause of liver-specific morbidity and mortality. Mechanisms underlying HCV persistence are poorly understood, and efforts at vaccine development have been stymied by the lack of an appropriate small animal model. We developed the first fully immunocompetent surrogate models to study hepacivirus immunity and pathogenesis. Our current studies are focused on using rodent hepacivirus model to define the immunopathogenesis of Hepatitis C virus (HCV). A sister project in our lab focuses on the development of T and B cell vaccines to define the nature and breadth of immunity required for protection against homologous and heterologous HCV-like viruses. In addition to conventional cell phenotyping and functional assays, our lab is routinely using bulk and single cell RNA-seq to gain new insights into the nature of host responses culminating in the clearance and persistence of these viruses in their natural host.
- Piyush Dravid, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Arvind Kumar, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Alex Hartlage, MD/PhD Grad Student
- Himanshu Sharma, Programmer
- Satyapramod “Pramod” Srivinivasa Murthy, Research Associate
- Sheetal Trivedi, Senior Research Associate